Scientists have recorded the sound of Pando, the “forest of a single tree”, which is considered the largest living organism in the world. According to The protector, the forest is made of 47,000 genetically identical stems sprouting from a shared root system. Pando, which means ‘I spread’ in Latin, is spread over 100 hectares. The organism is believed to be thousands of years old with a dry weight of 6,000 tons, making it the heaviest living organism in the world, the outlet said.
Now a sound artist has been able to capture Pando’s acoustic portrait using hydrophones.
“This project started with a question: what is the sound of one of the world’s largest organisms,” said sound artist Jeff Rice, presenting his findings at the 184th meeting of the Acoustic Association of America in Chicago.
The attempt was part of an art project for which Mr. Rice collaborated with Lance Oditt, the founder of the nonprofit Friends of Pando.
“I recorded pretty much everything I could possibly record,” the artist shared The protector. He added that the recordings include the sounds of leaves, birds, foxes and even ants moving over the branches.
In one of the recordings, Mr. Rice heard a whisper with the trembling of a million leaves echoing through Pando’s roots.
“What you hear, I think, is the sound of millions of leaves in the forest, vibrating the tree and going down through the branches into the earth,” said Mr. Rice.
Science alert said the hydrophone was placed in a cavity at the base of a branch and screwed down to the roots of the tree.
It also recorded the thuds of tapping a branch 30 meters away. This supported the theory that Pando’s root system is interconnected, the outlet said. However, it added that a proper experimental setup would be needed to confirm that the sound did not travel through the ground.